filled pause

Presentation at Japan Association of Educational Psychology

Presentation at Japan Association of Education Psychology 2012 in OkinawaLike my previous post, this one is also a little late in getting on-line, but for the record, here it is. In November, I traveled to Okinawa, Japan together with some of my colleagues from the Center for English Language Education (CELESE) in Waseda University Faculty of Science and Engineering in order to conduct and present in a symposium at the Japan Association for Educational Psychology (JAEP). The title of our symposium was "Important issues concerning the communication skills development of students in higher education".  We focused on four somewhat disparate, but not unrelated topics.  Emmanuel Manalo, the symposium leader, talked about students' use of diagrams during note-taking in order to comprehend the subject matter better; Chris Sheppard looked at factors influencing the failure rate in university level English courses; Fusa Katada considered how universities in Japan are prepared to deal with students with learning disabilities; and I talked about fluency development based on results from the Corpus of Hesitation Phenomena (pilot). Although the content of my talk was similar to that I presented a few weeks earlier at SLRF in Pittsburgh, I emphasized some results from the corpus which suggests that certain aspects of a learner's first language speech characteristics (especially speech rate), can be used to estimate their second language aptitude.

Presentation at Second Language Research Forum (SLRF)

Ralph Rose at Second Language Research Forum 2012 (Pittsburgh)This message is a little late in getting on-line, but for the record, at least, I'll still upload it. In October I was very busy as I made two conference trips in succession. First, I traveled to Hamamatsu here in Japan where I presented at the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) International Conference. After returning back home to Tokyo for one day, I then traveled to Pittsburgh to Carnegie-Mellon University where I participated in the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF).

I made a similar presentation at both conferences, though I emphasized the pedagocial implications at the JALT conference. In particular, I noted how results based on the Corpus of Hesitation Phenomena (pilot version) show that Nation's (1989) 4/3/2 fluency exercise technique can be connected to an increase in perceived fluency.

Filler words and filled pauses: Are they literally the same?

Social media spent some bandwidth last week flogging away at Vice-President Joe Biden's prolific use of 'literally' in his address to the Democratic Convention. Frankly, I don't really have much problem with this. The alternate use of 'literally' as an intensifier as opposed to a literal antonym of 'figuratively' is not some recent neologism. As Ben Zimmer points out at Language Log, this usage has been around since the 18th century. I won't go into the details of all that since the big guns at LL have already done the work.

And anyway, this is the Filled Pause Research Center.  So what's the relevance here?  Well, James Taranto, the Wall Street Journal columnist, took on the task of analyzing the ten different instances of 'literally' in Biden's speech.  Here's part of his contribution to the Biden brouhaha.

What makes this exercise even funnier is the fact that the word "literally" does not appear once--literally!--in the prepared text. All 10 "literallys" were extemporaneous. When Biden says "literally," it seems, he means "uh."

Crosslinguistic Corpus of Hesitation Phenomena (CCHP) First Release!

The Filled Pause Research Center is please to announce the initial release of Corpus of Hesitation Phenomena (CCHP) materials. This release includes audio files (wav and mp3) and transcripts (annotated xml and plain text) for six participants.  The transcription process is still ongoing. Thus, transcripts in this release do not yet contain time markings and there are no Praat TextGrid files yet.

Those who wish to access the corpus are asked to create a new account in the FPRC.  After doing so, the corpus archive can be accessed on the CCHP main page. Registered users may then download the entire corpus (as released so far) or sub-collections of the corpus or browse and download individual files in the corpus.

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